Archive for the ‘General’ Category
NTI Revelation 17 & 18 from 8/18/15
at the Center for Inner Peace in Pueblo, CO:
Weekly assignment from this audio:
When you see the temptation for the thinking mind to spin,
try resting the mind instead.
NTI audios are permanently archived on this page.
Regina Dawn Akers
I'm having a tough time with the impermanence of things. The good things in my life I want to lock in little glass jars and preserve them for all eternity. What's funny is I have a similar reaction to the bad things. Not that I want to preserve them for all eternity, but rather it feels like they'll be with me for all eternity. There is not a sense that this too shall pass.
I'm experiencing both of those sensations at the moment – wanting to preserve stuff and feeling like other stuff is interminable. A dear friend of mine is moving across the country in about 10 days and I'm really sad about it. I want him to stay here, I want things to keep going like they have been, and at the same time my sadness feels like a constant companion.
Buddhists would say my pain comes from attachment. I agree, I am very attached, but I don't know how not to be. The word people use most often to describe me is “intense.” I love deeply and commit fully. There is no halfway for me. I'm one of those extreme personalities, although I'm working on learning moderation and the middle ground. How am I supposed to learn non-attachment? Well, I'm not.
|I'm constantly trying to catch bubbles but when I hold on too tight, they pop. A good metaphor I think.|
My spiritual teacher says, “[N]on-attachment does not mean to leave all pleasures and remain in a state of indifference to the world. It does not mean to leave everything and go to the seclusion of a mountain cave. Those who are truly non-attached do not deny the world (or worldly life); they embrace it, for they feel the touch of the eternal hidden within all the changing forms of their lives. They are with everything.”
That to me means non-attachment is seeing things in their true form: as an expression of the divine, which is eternal. Non-attachment means enjoying things while they're around and remembering they are not the source of my enjoyment. I may love a person but love doesn't die when they leave. Non-attachment means I love God in the form of this person, but ultimately I love God. Again, it comes back to ascribing God-hood to everything.
I'm not saying I'm no longer sad about my friend moving, because I am, but I do feel a little better because I'm reminded of what's constant, of what's eternal. I'm also reminded of my source for everything. My higher power will always bring me who and what I need. In fact, a few weeks ago I rode the bus home from a meeting when normally I hitch a ride, and I ran into someone I knew, who I just met a few days before. It felt like a message from my higher power saying, “Your friend may be leaving, but that doesn't mean you won't make new friends and that your community will disintegrate. I am your source for everything; remember this all comes from me.”
I dream of a world where we remember for better or for worse, everything is impermanent. A world where we take comfort in knowing what's eternal. A world where we enjoy what's in front of us but also practice non-attachment because we catch a glimpse of the true form underneath.
Another world is not only possible, it's probable.
I interviewed Ram Das Batchelder for Awakening Together’s August 2015 Satsang. In this interview, Ram Das shares enthusiastically about his early spiritual path and the ego-delusions that accompanied his first experiences of God. He also shares how he found his Satguru, Amma, “the hugging saint.” In the final 30 minutes of the interview, Ram Das discusses his realization of truth through Self-inquiry including how through truth, he sees that everything he believed in before, including his own spiritual path, does not exist … Supreme Truth alone exists.
Ram Das was born in Pennsylvania in 1961, had a spiritual awakening in his early twenties, and has spent most of the last 25 years in India as a devotee of Amma, the “hugging Saint.” He has written four children’s books, which have been translated into several European languages, and also a novel in rhyming verse, three full-length plays, and 40 original songs. In 2012, he and his wife, Tarini Ma, wrote and co-taught a university course on Hinduism in Venezuela. He has given numerous talks and workshops about various aspects of spirituality in many locations around the world. He and his wife are currently offering 5-star tours of the sacred cities of India, to both Spanish and English-speaking groups.
“Rising in Love: My Wild and Crazy Ride to Here and Now, with Amma, the Hugging Saint” tells the story of Ram Das Batchelder’s powerful marijuana-fuelled spiritual awakening in America (which included meeting an angel), his two-year struggle with delusion and addiction, his subsequent renunciation of drugs, and his eventual discovery of Amma (the living Guru known in the West as “the Hugging Saint”). The narrative then covers the 27 amazing years he has spent in quest of Enlightenment as Amma’s devotee, most of that time in India. It is a story of profound healing from drug addiction and despair into a joyfully fulfilled life, and is therefore a ray of hope for all who suffer from addiction or mental illness of one kind or another.
(Rising in Love’s publication was directly approved by Amma, and contains 22 photos of her. All royalties from the sale of Rising in Love are being donated to Amma’s orphanage in Kerala, India, which houses 500 children and consistently turns out some of the most successful high school graduates in the state, one-third of whom go on to earn college degrees.)
Regina Dawn Akers
I hear quite often that life is an illusion, or a dream. People say that only heaven is real and what we're experiencing is a very realistic movie.
I sort of understand this perspective, because as I've written about before, I have a practice whereby I ascribe God-hood to everything, even inanimate objects. I do that to remind myself the keys I'm typing on are not keys, they are God in the form of keys. So if people are saying life is an illusion because everything is really an expression of God, then I can get behind this “life is an illusion” business.
|Some people say life is a dream. I'm not buying it.|
Friends, this is not an attitude I can abide by. I mean, I get it. It's very appealing to think life is an illusion because then all the horrible stuff that goes on in the world doesn't really matter and we don't have to get upset about it. We can soothe ourselves like kids waking from a nightmare by saying, “It was just a dream.” However, even if we are living in a dream or a realistic movie, we all have a part to play. We were assigned roles and those roles must be fulfilled, otherwise the movie would be very boring. All good stories have conflict and resolution. If we take the attitude life is an illusion and rest on our laurels, life is all conflict and no resolution.
I honestly don't see how saying, “life is an illusion” is helpful. However, I'm about to get all contradictory here because in yogic philosophy there is a concept called Máyá, who is the Supreme Creative Principle. Máyá is responsible for all of creation and is often translated as illusion precisely because the yogis are encouraging us to see the world as it really is: an expression of the divine.
My spiritual teacher says, “When people attain supremacy over Máyá through their ... [spiritual efforts or meditation], the veil of darkness moves aside from their minds and then there remains no difference between their own self-effulgence and the Brahmic effulgence – both are fused into one.”
I guess what I'm saying here is why wait for heaven? Why postpone happiness and the good stuff for a time that may never come? As someone who believes in reincarnation, I'm going to keep cycling through a human life over and over again. If I don't believe in heaven, does that mean I'll never experience reality? That I'll live in an endless illusion? That sounds pretty horrible to me. I'd rather bring enlightenment, bliss, and freedom to the present day by recognizing life is sort of an illusion. The illusion is not life itself, but rather that physical objects are all that exist, that material goods are all that matter. The illusion is believing we and everything around us are anything less than bright, shining lights of divinity.
I dream of a world where instead of viewing life as an illusion we view it as a projection of divinity. A world where we bring enlightenment, bliss, and freedom into the present moment. A world where we do what we can to uplift all of humanity and make heaven a real place that exists on Earth.
Another world is not only possible, it's probable.